How To Use Smart TVs as a Computer? (Explained)

Smart TVs have taken over living rooms with feature-packed and high definition images on a large screen.

It can open emails, stream photos on Social Media, and stream our favorite shows on Netflix or YouTube. Smart TVs even have browsers, open word documents in the cloud, and operate as if it were a giant desktop computer.

Can Smart TVs replace your computer?

While a lot of Smart TVs can connect to the Internet and come with a native web browser, this technology still has limitations. In the long run, you might be better at working with a smartphone.

With the proper tools, you can be able to render decent work on certain applications, albeit still not the most efficient way.

How Do I Use My Smart TV as a Computer?

The design principle of Smart TVs is not that far from the Smartphone.

You can connect to the Internet through WiFi or Ethernet cables. You can also install a keyboard and mouse through Bluetooth or USB.

Since Smart TVs do not differ a lot from Smartphones, you can also install applications or use web-based applications, such as Google Docs.

Note that the use of such applications still depends on the Smart TVs compatibility with Google, but for the most part, Smart TVs are often built around the same framework as Google’s mobile operating system, Android.

Can an Advanced Smart TV Replace a Computer?

Smart TVs were designed with entertainment as their main purpose.

While there are Smart TVs that allow you to install third-party applications, most of the stock or built-in applications of Smart TVs focus on the entertainment niche, such as Netflix, Youtube, Hulu.

Computers have a wider advantage over Smart TVs. Aside from streaming photos and videos, you can do a lot of other tasks like photo processing, working on spreadsheets, and Word documents.

The greatest advantage of computers is that a computer’s applications are full versions, as compared to simplified versions on Smart TVs.

While you can do word processing on Smart TVs, it can be a cumbersome task, especially if you need to switch between different applications for a task.

Can You Convert a Smart TV into a Computer?

Assuming your Smart TV has a browser, you can access Google Docs or Sheets and type away.

Smart TVs have keyboard support, so you can connect it either through USB or Bluetooth.

As mentioned earlier, this setup is limited. Your Smart TV may not have enough memory or power to handle certain tasks like editing a slide on PowerPoint while multitasking.

To make your Smart TV a more powerful computing machine, you should consider getting a PC stick. To use, you plug the PC stick into the HDMI port of your TV.

The beauty of PC sticks is that they are full-fledged computers, minus the other essential hardware, such as the monitor. It does not even have the bulk of a laptop, which makes it a good alternative in case you want to bring a computer on a trip.

While it may not have high-tier specs, these devices have enough power to handle multitasking of basic applications. It also has the essential connectivity such as a USB port, a micro SD card reader, WiFi, and Bluetooth.

To ensure a smooth experience with these devices, it is recommended to purchase a unit that has at least 4 GB of RAM. If you can afford it, try getting something with a high capacity for internal storage.

The best part of these PC sticks is they cost less than 200 dollars.

What’s the Difference Between a Computer and a Smart TV?

While a smart TV and computer both process information given by users, the main difference is that a Smart TV is entertainment-focused, while a computer with ordinary specs is focused on work productivity.

On the application side (i.e., software), Smart TVs can run productivity software but are limited versions.

What’s the difference between a smart TV and a regular TV?

Regular TVs have very limited features as compared to Smart TVs. You cannot install applications such as Netflix or YouTube for your binge-watching.

Smart TVs, however, can connect to the Internet, load applications, and be integrated into home automation systems. This means you can control your television through voice command systems such as Alexa or Google Assistant.

While Regular TVs can also be integrated into home automation systems, it is limited to switching the TV on standby mode through a smart plug.

Can You Convert an Ordinary TV to a Smart TV?

There is third-party hardware available in the market that allows your ordinary TV to stream videos from the Internet.

These include the Roku Stick, the Amazon Fire TV Stick, Chromecast, and Apple TV. Through these devices, you can install applications, much like a Smartphone.

They come with their proprietary remote control, or maybe navigated through your phone with a separate app.

The only prerequisites these devices have are an HDMI port and WiFi.

What is the Difference Between Digital TV and a Smart TV?

Digital TV is the term used for TV signals digitally transmitted.

It has several formats, including high definition.

Meanwhile, Smart TV refers to the actual hardware that receives the digitally transmitted signals referred to as Digital TV.

Can a Smart TV be Used as a Computer or Laptop Monitor?

All you need to do is connect your computer and TV through HDMI.

Make sure your computer has an HDMI port, or else, you will need a dongle, like in the case of the newer Macbooks.

Once you have plugged it in, make sure the TV’s display resolution is optimized.

Open your computer’s control panel or system preference, go to display, click on the monitor, and select from the drop-down the highest resolution possible.

While it is tempting to have a Smart TV for a computer monitor, there are things to note about this setup.

Is it Ideal to Use a TV for a Computer Monitor?

While you could use your Smart TV as a monitor, this may not exactly be the best thing to do in the long run.

Picture Quality

For one, pixel density, or the pixels per square inch, in larger screens are lower and will reduce quality. The higher the pixel density, the better the clarity when viewed up close.

This is why smaller screens, such as smartphone screens, have a high pixel density.

Smaller screens need to compensate for their size so that they can show clear images.

Response Time and Lag

Input lag and Response time issues usually occur when a TV is used as a gaming monitor.

Input lag refers to the delay of input devices vis-à-vis what is seen on screen. While this may not affect the performance during a slideshow or film screening, this is evident when using your TV as a computer monitor for your games.

The delay is very much evident and affects the accuracy of the movement of your cursors. If you were aiming your crosshairs at your opponent at a first-person shooter game, chances are, you will miss your target due to the lag time.

Meanwhile, response time refers to the number of times that pixels need to change colors when switching between screens.

Dedicated computer monitors have better response times, as compared to TVs, which is why “ghosting” or trails of pixels are left behind when scenes change.

Monitors vs. TVs

A dedicated computer monitor displays colors from a computer more accurately than a Smart TV.

Even with all these technological advancements, a monitor still displays color more accurately than a TV.

Chances are, there would be color inconsistencies when displaying a photo on a TV versus your monitor. This is crucial if you are processing photos.

All things considered, a Smart TV as a computer monitor works best when streaming videos from your computer, with the exceptions of inconsistencies versus your main screen.


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